What Is Vision Zero? Why is it Needed?
Vision Zero is an approach that recognizes no traffic fatalities or serious injuries are acceptable. It is based on the fact that we are human and make mistakes, and while the road system needs to keep us moving, it must also be designed to protect us when we err.
Almost forty thousand crashes occurred in Durham County between 2010 and 2014, resulting in 103 deaths. On average, 23 people die in crashes in Durham County each year. Vision Zero Durham is aimed at eliminating all traffic fatalities and severe injuries while increasing safe, healthy and equitable mobility for all. View the e-brochure to learn more.
Who Has Adopted Vision Zero?
Vision Zero is a multi-national road traffic safety project, originating in Sweden but now being utilized by cities and states across the United States. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) recently adopted a Vision Zero policy, and launched NC Vision Zero.
Vision Zero for Durham
The City has long been committed to making its streets safer for residents, and Vision Zero Durham will build on these efforts. In 2003, the City introduced an Accident Reduction Program to identify and treat high-accident intersections. In 2015, Mayor Bell accepted the Mayor’s Challenge for Safer People and Safer Streets issued by former US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. On September 18, 2017, the Durham City Council adopted the Vision Zero Durham Resolution making Durham one of the first cities in North Carolina to officially adopt a Vision Zero program. The Vision Zero Durham Resolution affirms the City’s commitment to eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries on Durham roadways, and provides a framework for City departments and community stakeholders to work together to achieve this goal. The Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization passed a resolution in support of Vision Zero Durham on August 9, 2017. During the second week of September, the City of Durham Transportation Department introduced Vision Zero Durham to the public with a series of events for Vision Zero Durham Week. The Durham Transportation Department plans to observe Vision Zero Durham Week annually in order to raise awareness about Vision Zero Durham.
Vision Zero implements the “5 E Strategy” – education, encouragement, enforcement, engineering, and evaluation – to achieve zero fatalities and severe injuries on Durham roadways. Vision Zero Durham will emphasize educational outreach in order to educate the community’s most vulnerable roadway users: low-income people, people of color, children and the elderly.
The City is also continuing to invest in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in order to diversify transportation options for residents and make roadways safer. More than 20 bicycle and pedestrian projects are currently being designed and will soon be constructed, leveraging more than $20 million dollars of federal and local funding. Additionally, $15 million has been allocated to the construction of sidewalks identified in the recently adopted Durham Bike+Walk Implementation Plan. In the recently approved 2017-2022 CIP budget, $100,000 was allocated for bicycle facilities.
A new Traffic Calming Guidelines document has been developed by the City's Department of Transportation. This resource will expand the options the City uses to calm traffic and make streets more liveable. It also helps residents better understand low vs. high cost treatments, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each treatment. To request traffic calming in your neighborhood, please contact Leslie Tracey.